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After frustrating final season at Manchester City, Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure says Pep Guardiola prefers to pick players from non-African countries.

Toure was restricted to just 10 Premier League appearances in his last season in Manchester, and has suggested that Guardiolas lack of trust in players from African nations was a direct contributor to his limited time on the pitch during Citys title-winning season.

READ MORE: West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini mugged by gunmen in Chile

The former African Player of the Year enjoyed a central role under Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City but saw his influence lessen when Guardiola took charge of the club in 2016. He joined the Manchester side in 2010 after being deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou by then-Barcelona boss Guardiola.

I want to be the one who breaks the Guardiola myth,” Toure said in an interview with France Football.

I tried to understand it and I even asked coaches for my stats. When I realized that they were as good or better, both in training and in matches, as those who played and were younger than me, I understood that it was not question of physicality. I don't know why, but I have the impression that he was jealous, he took me for a rival.”

Toure accused Guardiola of spoiling his final season at Manchester City by restricting his time with the first team – something he says would not have happened in a hypothetical situation with Andres Iniesta, who recently departed Barcelona with much fanfare.

READ MORE: US womens soccer player refused call-up over gay rights shirts

I have the impression that Pep, without acknowledgement or respect, did everything to spoil my last season,” Toure continued.

He was cruel with me. Do you really think he could've been like that with Andres Iniesta? It got to the point [when] I asked myself if it was because of my color. I'm not the first, other Barca players asked the question too.

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Francesco Molinari threw everything and the kitchen sink at Thorbjorn Olesen as they vied for the Italian Open on Sunday.

Despite a bogey at 17, Molinari played the last six holes in four under par and you cant ask for any more than that – yet it still wasnt quite enough.

Olesen was just too good and claimed his first title for 18 months by one shot. His recent form hadnt hinted at a victory but this isnt the first time he has come from nowhere to win. He seems to have matured a lot lately, though, so I think well see the effects of that in more consistent results in future.

Read more: Sam Torrance: Magnificent Molinari too good for McIlroy

The Dane showed balls of steel to beat the home favourite in Italy and that kind of temperament is just what is needed in the Ryder Cup.

Olesens return to form means he is now just outside the automatic places for the European team to face the United States in September.

Molinari, meanwhile, is virtually guaranteed a place on Thomas Bjorns side.

Since the Ryder Cup qualification points increased by 50 per cent at the BMW PGA Championship last month, he has finished first and second. As a result, he tops the European points list, having been a long way short a fortnight ago.

It means Bjorn is more likely to have in-form players to choose from, and his Ryder Cup team is looking stronger and stronger.

Molinari is a veteran of two previous appearances and is an ideal partner in either fourballs or foursomes, so he is a great addition.

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A fit and refreshed Nick Kyrgios says he's ready to bury the hellish injury memory that marred his 2017 Wimbledon campaign.

Concerns about an elbow problem in his serving arm saw the world No.23 withdraw from the French Open on the eve of his scheduled first-round clash with former Australian Davis Cup teammate Bernard Tomic.

Nick Kyrgios.

Photo: AP

The decision to pull out of Roland Garros cast doubts over whether or not he'd be fit enough to play at Wimbledon, which starts on July 2.

However, Kyrgios said he felt good during a doubles match at the Surbiton International Challenger Tour tournament, where he was the surprise star attraction at the low-key event in suburban south-west London.

Playing with American Jordan Withrow against Indian pair Siriam Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan, Kyrgios finished on the losing side, going down 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 10-8 – with the final set being decided on super tiebreak.

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However, he moved freely and served well during the 90-minute encounter.

"It's disappointing to lose, but it's tough on grass, especially in doubles, and anything can happen in super break," Kyrgios said.

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Germany have demonstrated the remarkable strength and depth of their squad by omitting Leroy Sane from the 23 for the World Cup.

The 22-year-old forward had been tipped as one to watch in -Russia after his outstanding season at Manchester City, which saw him voted the PFA Young Player of the Year. However, he was named -yesterday as one of four players cut from Joachim Low's squad.

Left out: Leroy Sane failed to make Germany's final squad.

Photo: AP

Given that a player with Sane's ability would be a first choice for most nations, it is a remarkable decision by Low. But, having won the World Cup in Brazil, and ahead of his sixth tournament, Low has earned the right to make such bold choices.

Sane, it seems, simply does not fit into the style of play the coach wants. There may also be significance in the fact Sane did not go to the Confederations Cup last summer – he had surgery on his nose – and Brandt took his place then.

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Sane's decision did not go down well with Low, given it was a chance to stake his claim. Even so, Sane has started the -majority of Germany's recent friendlies, but is not thought to have impressed.

Meanwhile, -Vincent Kompany, Sane's City team-mate, has been included in Belgium's squad, -despite suffering a groin injury during their friendly against Portugal on Saturday.

Kompany walked off early in the second half, without waiting to be substituted by coach Roberto Martinez and, although the extent of his injury is still being assessed, he has kept his place.

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Lukewarm Serbia have stumbled 1-0 to Chile while Morocco have downed Slovakia 2-1 in World Cup warm-ups.

Meanwhile, Italy and the Netherlands, two of the biggest names to miss out on Russia, have continued their rebuilding work with a 1-1 draw in Turin.

Drawing a blank: Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov during their friendly loss to Chile.

Photo: PA

Serbia, who face Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland in their group, looked vulnerable every time the South American champions – who surprisingly failed to qualify for the World Cup – came forward on Monday.

Guillermo Maripan headed in an 89th-minute winner for Chile, a fair reward for their more adventurous display.

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Morocco, who face Iran, Portugal and Spain in World Cup Group B, produced plenty of slick passing against Slovakia as they extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Although they fell behind to a long-range Jans Gregus effort in the 59th minute, Morocco replied with goals from Ayoub Kaabi and Younes Belhanda in a 10-minute spell.

Fight back: Two second half goals gave Morocco the win.

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Cape Town – Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has bemoaned the missed chances from his charges which could have altered the result of their quarter-final clash against Madagascar in the 2018 COSAFA Cup in Polokwane.

The Malagasy defeated South Africa 4-3 on penalties on Sunday at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium, after the match ended goalless after 90 minutes.

Bafana Bafana missed four sitters in regulation time missing out on three one-on-ones with one shot hitting the upright.

In the ensuing penalty shootout, South Africa led 3-1 at one stage but missed two, which saw them knocked out of the competition – for the second time in a row.

Speaking to the media after the match, Baxter had this to say:

THOUGHTS ON THE MATCH:

Football is football, Zambia went to penalties and won, we went to penalties and lost. Its a lottery when it comes to penalties, you have to keep your nerve and our players didnt. Congratulations to Madagascar, I thought we were the better team in 90 minutes but it doesnt count for anything if you dont score. And in the second half we werent as dangerous as the first half and the longer the game went on the more the younger players started to stress and thats the experience that they need, but again it doesnt count for anything if you dont score.

ON MISSED CHANCES AND PENALTIES:

It concerns me greatly when we dont score goals, whether its from open play or penalties. I will speak to Luther about the way he took his penalty. We took penalties at training in preparation for the match and he took both his penalties very well, the thing is we cant ask now if Luther was the right one to be given the penalty. He had two chances in the game – maybe his confidence was low, maybe he was nervous, maybe it didnt come out as he looked, he looked like he wanted to be casual. In the beginning Madisha took a very good penalty he also looked casual, but if the keeper saves it theres no explanation, so it concerns me more on the chances we missed than on the penalties, but I will have a little word with Luther. I understand the question about his attitude because he looked very casual, but I am guessing that is his normal way of playing, when it doesnt work it doesnt matter how it doesnt work. So I will speak to him because he will take it hard, he is a young boy, this is his first appearance for me and he really wanted to do well. Again I am more concerned about him missing two very good chances, I think with the penalty I have seen the likes of Baggio miss, I have seen Baresi, I have seen great players miss penalties. I will try to explain to him that I am more concerned about his general play, and then I think the penalties will come up.

POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES FROM THE MATCH:

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Cape Town – Maritzburg United captain Bevan Fransman turned down a new deal at the club to join newly-promoted side Highlands Park.

Highlands Park will return for their second season in the top flight after they won the National First Division last season, having been relegated the season before that.

The 34-year-old Fransman, a nominee for the PSL Defender of the Season, had a superb season for Maritzburg, helping them achieve a club best fourth place finish in the league while conceding the second least goals in the division.

It was thought that Fransman, who previously played for Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtic, could be headed to his home-town club of Cape Town City.But it's now emerged he'll be headed up to Johannesburg to play for the Lions of the North.

The player's agent, Steve Kapeluschnik, told Soccer Laduma:

"Obviously, Bevan isn't getting any younger. Highlands Park offered him a good deal, he thought long and hard before deciding to move back to Gauteng.

Fransman confirmed the move as well:

"I have spent a large portion of my career playing in Gauteng. I have a home and family here and this opportunity arose for me to join such an established and ambitious club like Highlands Park.

"I was up for the challenge, I am looking forward to this new chapter in my career and can't wait for the season to begin."

Maritzburg have already signed Denwin Farmer from SuperSport as a replacement in defence, while Siyanda Xulu will take over the captaincy at the KZN Midlands team.

Sports

MILWAUKEE (AP) Newly released police videos showing the stun gun arrest of Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown show one officer stepping on Browns ankle while he was handcuffed on the ground and others discussing the potential backlash of taking down an African American professional basketball player.

Brown was arrested for a parking violation in Milwaukee in January.

The body camera and squad car videos, obtained by WISN-TV , show Brown asking why the officer was stepping on his ankle. The officer told Brown he wanted to make sure Brown wouldnt kick officers.

Later an officer converses with two others who are seated in a squad car as they explained they were trying to protect themselves during the arrest and how police could be perceived as racist for arresting a black Bucks player.

Original Article

Sports

PARIS (AP) Caroline Wozniackis bid for a second straight Grand Slam title is over.

The second-seeded Dane lost to Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (5), 6-3 Monday in the fourth round of the French Open.

Kasatkina broke for a 5-3 lead and then served out the match, which started Sunday but was suspended by darkness.

”Its something like dream come true to play on this court, it was my dream since childhood,” said the 21-year-old Russian, who is seeded 14th. ”First time I took a racket in my hand I played like this. Its just the way of my mind.”

It was Kasatkinas third straight win over Wozniacki, who won the Australian Open for her first major but has never been beyond the quarterfinals at the French Open.

Kasatkina has reached the quarterfinals for the first time at any major, and she will next play U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Top-seeded Simona Halep remains on course for her elusive first major after beating 16th-seeded Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-1.

Halep lost this years Australian Open final to Wozniacki. She also lost in last years French Open final and in the 2014 final at Roland Garros. The 26-year-old Romanian will next face either two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber or Caroline Garcia.

Later Monday, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will face five-time major winner Maria Sharapova.

The two players are coming back from time away – Williams after having a baby daughter; Sharapova after a doping ban. It will be their 22nd head-to-head meeting. Williams has won 19 so far, including the past 18.

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Chelsea lead race to sign France star despite ongoing confusion over owner
Chelsea are now among the leading contenders to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco (Getty Images)

Chelsea are reportedly leading the race to sign Monacos in-demand winger Thomas Lemar this summer, according to reports.

The Blues, along with Tottenham, have stolen a march on both Arsenal and Liverpool who fought over the France internationals signature during last summers transfer deadline day.

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In the end, neither move materialised for the 22-year-old who has continued to pique interest from the Premier League.

Monacos vice-president Vadim Vasilyev stated that Lemar would not be sold last season, but it is now likely the Ligue 1 side will want to cash in on their most valuable asset.

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According to LEquipe, Chelsea and Spurs are now possible destination after interest from Arsenal and Liverpool cooled off.

The Gunners have take a different direction with regards to transfers following the appointment of chief scout Sven Mslintat and new manager Unai Emery.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have already completed deals for Fabinho and Naby Keita to arrive in July, while Jurgen Klopps side continue to be linked with Lyon attacker Nabil Fekir.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Shopland/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9695424bp) Nabil Fekir of France France v Republic of Ireland, International Friendly, Stade de France, Paris, France - 28 May 2018
Liverpool have turned their attention to fellow France international Nabil Fekir (Getty Images)

Monaco rejected a bid for Lemar from Arsenal worth a reported €100m last August, which suggests it would take a similar fee to prise him away from the Stade Louis II this summer.